Image by Ford via Ford Media Center

On Thursday, Ford’s stock price coasted upward to just over $25 per share, pushing its market value past the $100 billion-dollar mark for the first time ever. The market movement comes as investors see Blue Oval’s electrification plans in a positive light and expect Ford to surge in popularity in the coming years. 

Deutsche Bank perhaps tipped the scales in the carmaker’s favor during Thursday’s run, making a bullish call that Ford is one of their top auto stock picks for the year. It potentially comes at Tesla’s expense as reports come out that the Cybertruck will likely be delayed in production until 2023. Ford then has first crack at the electric truck market with more than 200,000 reservations and production targets are set at 150,000 units by mid-2023. 

And while the F-150 Lightning appears to be the first mass-produced EV pickup out of the gate in meaningful numbers, it’s only one model in Ford’s electrified plans. The Mustang Mach-E sold more than 27,000 units in 2021, taking second position in BEV SUV sales behind the Tesla Model Y. The E-Transit is now available to order for commercial customers, and the Ford Explorer EV has been announced with expectations of a release in 2023.

Related: Ford doubles F-150 Lightning production target on strong demand

Ford lightningPositive outlook for the legacy carmaker

While valued at only a fraction of the highest-valued carmaker, Tesla, Ford is seen well positioned to capture the second position before making a run at the top spot. Their current lineup is making people take notice in the auto industry. 

Benchmark analyst Mike Wars stated on Monday, “Ford’s product lineup is the best in decades. Markets in North America, Europe, and China are positioned to accelerate over the next three to five years, and we believe Ford is positioned to generate record levels of profitability.”

Although Ford’s 2021 bull run grew the stock price by 136%, CNBC’s Mad Money host Jim Cramer expects 2022 to follow it up with even more growth. He said on Squawk Box, “The sky is the limit for Ford this year. It’s going to be terrific.” Cramer said he believes it’s possible for Ford to produce 200,000 battery-powered vehicles this year, a number that hasn’t been substantiated yet. 

Targeting the number one EV spot

In a statement by Ford earlier in January regarding F-150 Lightning orders, Ford made forward-thinking statements for production goals. One such goal is to increase production to more than 200,000 EV units by 2023, and “the global capacity to produce 600,000 battery-electric vehicles annually” within 24 months.

In the statement, Ford says, “Over the next two years, Ford aims to emerge as the clear No. 2 electric vehicle maker in North America and then challenge the No. 1 spot as huge investments in battery and electric vehicle manufacturing come onstream.”

While it doesn’t reach the production numbers Tesla reports with a banner year in 2022 of more than 936,000 vehicles produced and delivered, it places Ford in a solid second place. Within another few years afterward, it’s feasible for Ford to catch and pass Tesla’s sales figures. 

Ford has committed to spending $30 billion on electrification through 2025, one of the largest commitments made to date. In addition to the capital to support their industry position, Ford has the experience in automotive manufacturing to back up their goals.

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